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    • This paragraph from the link above, I found rather startling - 38% higher CO2 atmospheric release to build an electric car, than building a traditional ICE car.

      "Manufacturing any car, electric or otherwise, causes carbon emissions, be it from the coal used to smelt the steel for its body work or the diesel oil burned when shipping its electronic components across oceans. The extra materials and energy involved in manufacturing a lithium-ion battery mean that, at present, the carbon emissions associated with producing an electric car are higher than those for a vehicle running on petrol or diesel – by as much as 38%, according to some calculations. Until the electricity in national grids is entirely renewable, recharging the battery will involve a degree of dependence on coal or gas-fired power stations."

      I was surprised there was no mention of direct removal of lithium from the ocean water either, rather than from salt beds.

    • I've been worried sick about this for years, partly because in my earth science career I was involved in water testing. So many batteries, so much mining, where are they all going to go?

    • All glass soda bottle were recycled for well over half a century - they cost 5 ->10¢ each at the time of purchase, and that was refunded with their return to the vendor ...... Why was this behavior abandoned? Convenience, or lack of success, or other reasons? 

      We have, in my community, a local, would be plastic recycling facility, that expects to receive only clean, empty bottles - not plastic bottles or cans filled with grease, dirt, waste, dried paint, residual detergent etc. They estimate that it costs them about $10 per pound to eliminate one pound of plastic from the landfill, by recycling this clean dry plastic waste..... 

      I have significant doubt that a cost of $10 per pound, for each pound rediverted from the landfill, will prove to be cost effective - UNLESS - there is a token return fee for the bottle, at the time of purchase, just like there used to be for the glass soda bottles I collected for the return fees when I was a kid. 

      Discarded plastic bottles are frequently pretty scuzzy, precisely because they have been discarded, not returned; - either from wallowing around in ditch water, somewhere, after being discarded, or repurposed as a paint container, or a grease container, or a dirt container, or a urine container, or other purposes. 

      But then I don't discard empty plastic bottles in my yard either, but apparently I do have a neighbor, or at least a passer by, who pitches them into my yard from their car window, on their way by, from time to time. 

      I am not terribly optimistic that all humans are that caring about their environment, from my limited life experience. Just watch the evening news.

      We have, everyone in America, done so well with mask wearing in this pandemic, I am certain we can get everyone to enthusiastically wash and clean their plastic bottles for return/recycling, without the necessity of a return fee.  Well, maybe not……

      I am not suggesting that recycling and avoiding plastic waste are not laudable goals that I do fully support. Just like I don't throw trash into my own or my neighbor's yard.

      But I do have doubts that a large number of folks are so conscientious. A return fee did seem to help folks make more effort to return bottles 50 years ago.

      But just maybe,  a return fee for the battery of an EV makes a whole lot of sense. Ya think?

    • In Calgary we pay a recycling fee when we buy drinkable liquids. We get the money back when we return the bottles to the depot. Many people go around searching ditches and garbage cans for these bottles and return them. For some people this is their only income. Even still it’s not enough and many kids and adults just throw the bottles in the non recycled trash. The fee we pay needs to be way higher than it is now.

    • A recycling fee for drinkable liquids - sodas, or beers, or wine, or water, or all of the above??

      Sold in glass bottles, plastic bottles, or aluminum cans - or all of the above??

      Inquiring minds want to know. How long have the recycling fees been in place?

      I don't think I noticed recycling fees on a couple of my road trips through Calgary over the years, but then I wasn't really paying attention as I drove along either.

      You @cvdavis describe folks harvesting bottles out of ditches and garbage cans - that would have been me when I was 10 or 12 years old. But back then, only glass soda bottles rewarded one a recycling fee.

      You also mentioned that even with recycling fees many bottles still get discarded into the environment. Is that discarding just laziness, a failure to understand the consequences of random discarding , or, possibly, even a political statement???

      I notice when travelling, along many backroads in the USA, that the ditches and road sides are often littered with discards of trash and bottles and cans. You can often see plastic bags blowing about on freshly plowed fields at times, too. Something I don't remember seeing many years ago.

      Why is it so hard to get everyone to appreciate a clean tidy environment, enough to make an effort to maintain it?

    • Your guess is as good as mine. I do know that some cultures think differently about recycling and garbage. People see the garbage carried away and then never think of it again. Some are lazy. Wide assortment of reasons. Many bottles that have been sent to recyclers get burned or just buried sometimes and that is disheartening. We will likely have to wait until new recycling techniques and new plastic that doesn’t degrade each time it’s recycled. There are some promising things in the works.

    • I have read about the use of glass and some types of plastic for composite road surfaces too. Maybe they will succeed,

      I certainly hope so.

      I don't think the large dead batteries from EVs will be used in road surfaces though....

    • In rural areas, adoption will be hindered as long as charging stations are sparse. Although I have desired an electric car for a long time, I know that keeping it charged where I live would make it impractical.

    • I don't think the large dead batteries from EVs will be used in road surfaces though....

      Probably not.

      Like lead-acid batteries have been for decades, the components *can* be recycled. The costs associated with that use are NOT included in the total cost of ownership of an EV, a hybrid or any other component of a modern motor vehicle.

      Consider some of those *other* materials in a vehicle, the metals and the plastics used to create a myriad of assemblies. Anybody really taking into account the costs there?

      "End-of-life" calculations are terrible. A lot of assumptions get made, then your customer just doesn't do things as you expected them to.

    • That *first* set of tires the car is delivered with has no recycle fee (at least here in the U.S.). Now, when I wear that first set of tires out, I do have to pay that fee at any place that's selling me a new tire.

      Identical principle for the 12V battery used in ICE vehicles.

      If it costs $10,000 to replace the EV battery, if my state tacks on a 10% recycle fee (for example), then I guess I'm out $11k for that EV battery.

      Story in the news just recently where a older Tesla was bought dirt-cheap. Owner sent the car to an after-market technical (hard to call him a mechanic) service place. For a (significant) fee, the single cell that caused the car to have issues was replaced.

      As an electrical technician, my suspicion is majority of issues are going to be diagnosed, but probably not repaired - correctly. That market seems to be ripe for the picking.

    • Remember car batteries will first go to power plant storage for many more years of service before it needs to be recycled.

      How many and in what countries do these EV power plants exist currently?